Sharing documents is one of the most frequent tasks we do, compatibility becomes a very important factor in the destination PC since its essential that the computer is capable of handling the file. In this post, I am going to write my opinion about doc/docx (office 03/07) formats and which makes sense and which does not.
The improved features in docx or similar formats in Office 2007 are a lot, though they are not widely implemented by everyone their presence makes the difference. Sharing an important document in the newer convention (i.e. docx) conveys the fact that you've got a newer office installed on your PC, but, compatibility issues are going to spoil your day if the destination PC has got Office 2000/XP/2003. Though, Microsoft has responsibly rolled out the converters and compatibility layers for older versions of Office, most of the amateur users are not aware of this fact.
So, Who's the real loser? The guy with Office 2007/10 or the guy with an older version. This is purely subjective, if your boss has the older version and you are sending him a fashionable docx file you are bound to be scolded (unless, your boss learns his mistake and thanks you for being a tech evangelist, which isn't gonna happen).
In my opinion, sharing a file in docx isn't relevant at all, though one can easily open it using online tools, people aren't aware of the fact and they end up complaining. The best way to retain compatibility is to share the file in doc format. Better, PDFs are becoming popular by the day and free PDF writers are abound (Cute PDF Writer is a good one). If you are going to share your resume to your new employer, it's better if you can send it to him/her in PDF, on the contrary, if you need the person on the other side to edit your document a bit - doc is more relevant.
Before I sign off, I should be making you aware about the endless possibilities on the internet for you to open a docx file with your ancient computer.
A Website called Zamzar helps you convert newer file formats to older ones, all you need to do is Upload the newer format, give your email ID, choose the result format and wait for an email to arrive with the converted file. Click here to try.
I strongly recommend you install Office 2010 or 2007 in your computer to keep up with the world.
If you are a mac user, check out Office Mac Home and Student 2011
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